ENG 495 gives students the opportunity to get hands-on professional experience in a field related to English studies. The Department of English matches a student intern with an appropriate host organization, and depending on the host’s needs, the intern spends the semester assisting with writing, editing, copyediting, research, public relations, and other communications-oriented tasks.

Interns commit to working 8-12 hours each week for their host organizations. These are unpaid internships; students in the program earn three academic credits, and the internship experience counts as one of the 400-level electives for the English major. Students who qualify for the internship program are usually in the final semesters of their degree programs at the university.

In addition to working with their host organizations, interns in ENG 495 submit weekly reports reflecting on their experience, a mid-term report, a final report, and a formal letter of application and resume. Responses to a few short reading assignments about internships, the job market, and professional conduct are the focus of some of the weekly reports.

If you are interested in pursuing an internship, write to John David Zuern at to set up a short interview, and attach a four- to six-page sample of your strongest writing. Academic writing you have done for a class is fine if it’s your best work, but non-fiction such as journalism or technical writing is optimal. Do not submit examples of creative writing. You will need an override to enroll in ENG 495, so you need to go through this approval process before registering for the class.

The host organization plays a direct supervisory role with the intern, assigning work and giving feedback as necessary. The UHM-based supervisor of the internship program remains in contact with the students throughout the semester and is always available if questions or concerns arise. Interns send the supervisor weekly reports on their activities, and they write a mid-semester and final report on their experience. They also compile a portfolio of work they have completed during their time with the host organization.

Sponsoring an intern requires hosts to devote time to orienting and supervising a temporary staff member, so we strive to place only the strongest students with our community partners. Students must first interview with the UHM-based supervisor and submit a sample of their writing. The host organization will then interview the prospective intern, and may decline to take on students who appear unsuitable for the position.

Internships offer invaluable experience with the day-to-day operations of the kind of publications, businesses, and organizations in which English majors and minors typically seek employment. An internship on your resume and a strong letter of recommendation from your host will give you an advantage when you’re applying for jobs.

In addition to the hosts listed below, you may organize your own internship with an organization you identify yourself. All internship arrangements must be approved by the UHM supervisors of the internship program.

Current Host Organizations for UHM English Department Interns

The organizations listed below have either hosted interns from the UHM English Department in the past or have expressed an interest in hosting an intern this semester. Please note that an organization’s inclusion on this list does not guarantee that an internship will be available with that organization in a given semester.

The Ka Ipu o Lono Native Hawaiian Digital Humanities Project offers hands-on experience in creating content building a Native Hawaiian digital encyclopedia of authors, texts, major themes and issues. Hawaiian language experience is not required. Includes planning, creating short, research-based essays, proofreading, editing, seeking permissions from publishers, gathering, creating visual and audio content. A secondary project inputting, researching, and proofreading songs and chants from the vast Pele and Hi`iakaikapoliopele traditions published in the mid-19th century – early 20th century newspapers is also an option.

Generations Magazine The Production Assistant for Generations Magazine assists the editor in copyediting and proofing copy. A major responsibility is proofreading and performing a quality check on final layout proofs approved by the editor, and meeting the printer’s deadline. This detailed work includes reading the full text for all copy errors: spelling, grammar, punctuation and line breaks. The Production Assistant also checks for consistency of style (AP and custom), and ensures that all headers, bylines, captions and anchor information for authors are correct, and certifies that photo credits have been properly noted. Within the all-pages spread, the Production Assistant will also ensure that sequential page numbers are correct and all page references within articles and in the table of contents are properly indexed.

Hawaii Book and Music Festival (spring semesters only) The Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival employs two UHM interns to help plan this large-scale event, which takes place in May. Interns write biographies of participants, contribute copy to the festival program and Web site, maintain the festival’s presence on social media, and help in other ways with promotion for the event.

Hawaii Home + Remodeling This magazine devoted to remodeling, architecture, and landscaping in Hawai‘i has been an excellent host for several UHM interns, who get hands-on experience in magazine publishing and writing. Each intern has been assigned articles that have appeared in the publication, so this internship is a great way to start building a portfolio.

Hawaii Literacy This organization promotes literacy among adults and children throughout the community through various programs, a book mobile, and libraries located in public housing projects in Honolulu. Interns assist with event planning, publicity, grant writing, and the operations of the libraries.

Hawaii Plantation Village This project will result in products that will be used to enrich the visitor experience at one of Hawaii’s most significant historic attractions: Hawaii’s Plantation Village. The project presents a unique opportunity to make a significant contribution to preserve knowledge associated with one of our state’s multicultural treasures. Under the supervision of the English Department and faculty at the Center for Language & Technology (CLT), you will participate in the documentation of the knowledge and experiences of Village docents through research, interviews, transcription, and writing tasks. In the process, you will strengthen your skills in ethnographic documentation and historical curation. This project will entail 8-12 hours of work per week at the CLT on the Mānoa campus (this time commitment also includes monthly visits to the Village, which is located in Waipahu).

Hawai‘i Language Roadmap Initiative A partnership between UHM and the Governor’s office, the Hawai‘i Language Roadmap Initiative seeks to promote language education and advocacy to build the state’s multilingual workforce. Students conduct interviews with community stakeholders, write articles, and contribute to the initiative’s social media campaign.

Honolulu Publishing Company This publisher focuses largely on visitors to Hawaii, with publications like the Hawaii Drive Guides and Spotlight’s Hawaii Guides. The internship involves writing, proofreading, editing, image editing, layout, and design. Interns apply in spring for fall semester.

Ka Leo Working for the UHM campus newspaper gives you the opportunity to publish work quickly and to gain writing, copyediting, and interviewing experience.

Mānoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing Published by UH Press, this journal publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from throughout the world. Interns gain hands-on experience with the proofreading, editing, planning, and production processes that go into producing a high-quality literary periodical. Please note that Mānoa requires a proofreading exam as part of the interview process.

Modern Luxury Hawaii This print and online publication offers interns a chance to gain experience with writing, proofreading, and editing for a magazine with a focus on fashion, lifestyle, travel, and food.

Nella Media Group/FLUX Magazine Nella Media Group publishes the lifestyle magazine FLUX along with Innov8, the Go! Mokulele in-flight magazine, the Chinatown Newspaper, and Lei. Interns with NMG get access to all the dimensions of magazine publishing and are assigned articles that appear in NMG publications.

Pacific New Media, UHM Outreach College  This program runs workshops on Web design, photography, social media, and other media-intensive topics. Interns work on event planning, social media writing, video production, and other support activities. The staff at PNM is supportive and dynamic, and the internship will put you in touch with media and technology leaders here in Hawai‘i and throughout the US.

Read to Me International An organization devoted to encouraging adults to read aloud to children run by former Hawai‘i First Lady Lynn Waihee, Read to Me is a new internship partner for us. Tasks would include writing, editing, event planning, and public relations. For example, Haku Mo`olelo (Write Stories) is a project designed for female inmates at WCCC Prison. The Inmates write their own children’s story that is published for them to read aloud (on a tape recorder) to their child. The book and CD are mailed home to their child.

Scholar’s App This web-based company aims to connect students seeking financial aid with scholarship opportunities. Gain experience in researching topics, writing about topics of your choice, and posting to a website, in addition to social media/SEO skills. This company is based on campus, though much of the work can be done remotely.

The Smithsonian This semester-long academic internship at the world renowned Smithsonian Institution located in Washington, D.C. is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Enjoy world-class exhibits and offerings of the museums and galleries that comprise the Smithsonian Institution, while also making a valuable professional contribution to one of its programs.  To top it off, you will be living in the heart of our nation’s capital with other interns. Interns apply in Spring 2017 for the Fall 2017 semester. (Please keep in mind that you can only take ENG 495 for credit in the major once; if you pursue an internship for Spring 2017 and the Smithsonian internship for Fall 2017, the second ENG 495 course would only count as elective credit.)

The Smithsonian Institution interns will be provided round trip airfare from Honolulu to D.C., housing, and a monthly stipend.   In addition, the interns have the support of members of the National Capital Region Chapter of the University of Hawaiʻi Alumni Association who take pride in assisting and guiding the interns as needed and desired.

Sof Ma`arav History Project Interns will help product a comprehensive history of the Hawai`i Jewish Congregation of Sof Ma`arav. Tasks involve assisting with the organization, recording, and transcription of oral histories; conducting archival research; compiling demographic, organizational, membership, and leadership information; and providing technical assistance to the project.

Surfrider Foundation Working closely with O‘ahu chapter coordinator Stuart Coleman, interns at the Surfrider Foundation help support the ocean-focused public education and advocacy work of the Surfrider foundation. Stuart is a successful writer with years of experience in publishing and freelancing.

Tinfish Press This press publishes books of experimental poetry, often focused on the Pacific region, broadly defined. Interns help with copyediting, proofreading, production, and event planning and gain valuable experience with the world of small presses.

Trim This magazine is devoted to the history and culture of surfing around the world. Interns research and write articles, transcribe interviews, and are involved in the copyediting and design of the publication. Students with Hawaiian language skills are especially encouraged to apply, as some of the research involves Hawaiian-language materials.